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Plaza Catalunya in Barcelona

Every city has its main point, where the counting of kilometers and time begins, where the streets converge, and where important public buildings are concentrated. The main square of Catalonia, the Plaza de Catalunya in Spanish, is considered one of the most spacious and beautiful in Europe.

History and attractions of Plaza Catalunya

The square-sun with diverging rays of streets appeared in Barcelona relatively recently, in the 19th century. Until then, the townspeople quietly made do with the inner territories, organizing bazaars and festive festivities there. Gradually the population of the city increased, we had to get out of the old fortress walls. Some of them were torn down or demolished, opening up space for new neighborhoods like the Eixample. The Plaza Catalunya, judging by the map of the city, has become a kind of connection between the old and new parts of Barcelona.

Plaza Catalunya in Barcelona on the map

New neighborhoods were to be built according to a single plan that included wide streets, numerous public gardens, and recreational parks. A place for celebrations and a logically complete center was needed. To do this, they announced a competition for the best project. Idelfons Sera’s sketch won, and Barcelona’s Plaza Catalunya began to take on its modern features.

The architectural ensemble included monuments, a fountain, sculptures, and space for public buildings around it. By 1888 the main part was ready. The second change was in 1929, the new composition, which decorated the appearance of the square, was installed only in 1991.

Plaza Catalunya serves as the starting point for most of the tourist routes.

You can get in from here:

  • to the Gothic Quarter with its ancient architectural and historical monuments, colorful festivals and cozy cafes with national cuisine;
  • to La Rambla, Barcelona’s main tourist street;
  • to the shopping paradise of the Passage da Gracia thoroughfare.

Plaza Catalunya on the map of Barcelona

Monuments in Barcelona’s main square

A space of 50,000. km. m. lined with stone and decorated with interesting monuments and sculptures, sometimes allegorical or simply beautiful and proportionate.

Monument to Francesc Macieja

Established in 1991 in honor of the first president of Catalonia, who proclaimed its independence. Symbolic monument consists of 2 stairwells, combined in a mirror projection. Art historians have suggested that this means further development of the region, building on what has already been accomplished. The opinion of the author himself, Jose Subirax, is unknown.

Sculptures of the 4 provinces

Sculptures in Barcelona's Plaça Catalunya

Plaza Catalunya is decorated with allegorical images of the provinces, they are located at different points and are very spectacular. Thus, cattle breeding is considered the main source of Girona’s income, the symbol being the cow surrounded by the gifts of the fields. The bunch of grapes reminds us of Tarragona’s specialization as a wine-producing region.

Goddess and Youth

The 2 sculptures in Plaza Catalunya were the subject of a fierce debate between moralists and admirers of classical art. The nude silhouettes of a sumptuous woman by Joseph Claret aroused the public aversion, although it was created according to the canons of ancient sculptures. They had to be removed, but a year later they were back in place.

Plaza Catalunya, Barcelona's main square

The sculptures are also well known:

  • Labor;
  • Wisdom;
  • Builder;
  • Motherhood;
  • A shepherd with a flute.

The multilevel fountain in the Plaza Catalunya is a cool and decorative feature, and in the evenings the jets are illuminated.

Popular hiking trails

In a small part of the square there is a parking lot for tourist buses, regularly taking tourists on sightseeing tours of the city and its surroundings.

Those who aim at sightseeing in the historic center of Barcelona will not need transportation.

Most interesting objects can be reached in a few minutes by foot and in the process of walking you can admire the street, stop in a cafe or a souvenir store.

The most popular hiking routes with a starting point in Plaza Catalunya are:

  • the towers of the house of Rocomore;
  • Cathedral;
  • Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces;
  • a walk through the Gothic Quarter.

Barcelona's central square - Plaça Catalunya

To get to the square itself is very easy, near it there are several metro stations and public transport stops. Every cab driver considers it his duty not just to take passengers to the Plaza Catalunya, but also to tell them on the way about the history of its origin, to mention various details about the monuments placed on it.

Interesting facts about Plaza Catalunya

  1. From the square departs in different directions 9 streets, for which it is affectionately known as the sun.
  2. There are three subway lines intersecting nearby, so you can get to the main square from any part of the city.
  3. There is a festival of Catalan folk dances with dressed actors in historical costumes and life-size puppets.
  4. On the underground level there is a large tourist center of Barcelona, where you can get posters of upcoming events, maps and booklets, purchase transportation cards that give a tangible discount when you visit the sights. And also learn about the days of free visits to museums in the city.
  5. The famous Book Week, with sales and free readings of contemporary bestsellers and classics, opens every year in Barcelona’s main square.
  6. In winter, the area turns into a giant ice rink about 1 km in diameter.

Barcelona’s central square has become one of the city’s main attractions and the starting point for further walks around this amazing city.

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